Jerry DeLemus, the 62-year-old Rochester man serving a six-year prison term for his role in Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s armed standoff in 2014 has been permanently moved to the federal prison at Fort Devens in Ayer, Mass., his wife said.
Former state Rep. Susan DeLemus said she hasn’t spoken to her husband for nine days while he’s been “quarantined” and processed since his move from a Nevada prison to Devens, 90 minutes from their home.
“Never in my life would I ever think I would be happy my husband was in a prison of any kind, but I am happy he will be in Devens permanently now so I can see him,” Mrs. DeLemus said during a telephone interview.
“I think it is the hand of God,” she said. “It is totally answered prayer. It was our first preference.”
She said the Ayer prison is a medical facility; her husband suffers from high blood pressure, a bad cough and a shattered hip.
Susan DeLemus said she ordered money sent to him for his “commissary” so he could purchase comfort items, but she isn’t even sure if he knows that yet.
“They haven’t allowed him to get to a phone” during the intake process, she said. “It’s been difficult. I was able to call him every single day, sometimes two or three times a day, from all the other different prisons where he has been.”
Mrs. DeLemus said she’s also been told that visits, once permitted, should be “one-on-one” and face to face, not through a pane of glass or monitor as other visits were. “That’s going to be a big change for the better,” she said.
News that Jerry DeLemus was headed East was greeted with delight by the many followers of the couple on Facebook and other social media platforms.
The co-chairman of President Trump’s 2016 New Hampshire veterans coalition, DeLemus got a more harsh prison sentence than prosecutors asked for after the judge in late May called him a “bully vigilante.”
After he pleaded guilty last August, prosecutors asked for a six-year prison sentence. Instead, DeLemus got seven years and three months in prison for conspiracy to commit an offense against the U.S. and interstate travel in aid of extortion.
Judge Gloria Navarro cited DeLemus’ attempt to withdraw his guilty plea and his lack of remorse as reasons for the longer sentence.
Prior to sentencing, DeLemus told the court he would do it all again, except for bringing firearms across the country.
He said he joined up with the Bundy armed standoff soon after it began and believed government snipers had surrounded Bundy’s home.
For more than a month, DeLemus was in the encampment acting as a go-between with local authorities.
DeLemus’ was the first prison sentence in the Bundy case. Another 18 people are in custody in connection with the standoff.
Former Republican State Chairman Jack Kimball has called DeLemus a “political prisoner,” based on his views and actions.
A Marine Corps veteran, Jerry DeLemus was a Tea Party leader in New Hampshire and also ran unsuccessfully for county sheriff and for mayor in Rochester.